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Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA

Accident Report Detail

Accident: 97480.015 - Employee Is Burned By Caustic Solution While Cleaning Indust

Accident: 97480.015 -- Report ID: 0950647 -- Event Date: 03/19/2017
InspectionOpen DateSICEstablishment Name
1220002.01503/28/2017Frito-Lay, Inc.
At 10:30 a.m. on March 19, 2017, Employee #1 was working for a manufacturer of s nack foods. He was the group leader in a group of three sanitation workers. He a nd his two coworkers were performing the sanitation procedure on a potato chip f ryer (PC fryer) that was part of a potato chip processing line. During the sanit ation procedure, the system had to go through a boil-out process. To start, the employees drained the oil from the system and added a cleaning solution of a hot caustic cleaner and water. The caustic cleaner was HD Plusfoam VF1 and Resource . It contained sodium hydroxide. The system was controlled through a computer sy stem that should have automatically set the required temperature of 88 degrees C elsius (190 degrees Fahrenheit) for the boil-out process. The temperature was ma intained in the heat exchanger system by allowing steam through an automated con trol valve. This valve was a Fisher Type 667 diaphragm actuator, with Serial Num ber 12042066. The valve was not isolating correctly. It had to be opened manuall y by the maintenance department. The boil out process took approximately 3 to 4 hours. About 1 hour into the boil-out process, the workers noticed that the temp erature was fluctuating above 93 degrees Celsius (200 degrees Fahrenheit), as di splayed on a computer screen. When the first coworker saw that the temperature w as getting up to 110 degrees Celsius (230 degrees Fahrenheit), he attempted to s hut everything off in an attempt to lower the temperature. He noticed that the b oil-out system had lost about half of the water that was circulating through it due to boiling off and overflowing. He observed that a lot of steam was coming o ut from the PC fryer. Employee #1 was walking by, when his two coworkers informe d him that the boil-out process was getting too hot. Employee #1 and the first c oworker went on a platform on the north side of the PC fryer to check the comput er screen for the system. At about 10:20 a.m., steam pressure from the excessive heat in the system caused a panel for the fryer fines removal system to blow op en. The fryer fines removal system was on the south side of the PC fryer. The ho t water and chemical mixture blew out and flew over the PC fryer. The mixture la nded on Employee #1 and the first coworker. They had stepped off the platform wh en they had heard the noise of the incipient eruption. They were only about a me ter, or a couple of feet, from the fryer, when they were splashed. The first cow orker had personal protective equipment that included a raincoat that mostly pro tected her from the hot cleaning solution. Employee #1 was not wearing any perso nal protective equipment. He was burned by the hot liquid on his back. He sustai ned second and third degree burns to his scalp, neck, posterior torso, and upper extremities on his left hand side. He was hospitalized.
Keywords: burn, caustic, chemical, chemical burn, cleaning, fryer, heat exchanger, high pressure, high temperature, mech malfunction, ppe, pressure piping, pressure release, sodium hydroxide
Employee # Inspection Age Sex Degree Nature Occupation
1 1220002.015 49 M Hospitalized injury Laborers, except construction

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